Witchblade #173 (Comics Review)

It isn’t for no reason that Ron Marz is one of my favourite writers working in the comics industry right now. His work is always rather… fluid in terms of the story and the concepts are always interesting to say the least. I’ve read a fair amount of his work till now, though I still have a mountain of it to go through, but none of his work has stayed with me as much as his current run on Witchblade, which is his second run on the title. The Borne Again arc has really been putting Sara through the paces and it explores a world where the balance between the Light and the Dark is no more.

Investigating a series of grisly ritualistic murders, Sara has come under fire herself and become part of a greater conspiracy that seeks to use the imbalance between the Light and the Dark to make everything even worse. Too much of anything is a bad thing, that’s one of the central concepts of this arc that Ron is telling, and in this issue we begin to see the genesis of how that imbalance is getting skewed even further. And in the middle of it, Laura Braga and Betsy Gonia’s art continues to be good, which is what I wanted!

Witchblade 173Once again, before we get into the review, I want to say that Stjepan Sejic has turned out another great cover here. Sure, it has nothing to do with the contents of the issue itself, but that’s no barrier to just enjoying what it is. And what it is, is a great composition. Metaphorically, it does represent what’s happening in the issue since Sara is getting cornered everywhere she looks, whether it is her job as a Sheriff or her role as a bearer of the Witchblade. Or former bearer, as the case may be.

Following the events of the previous issues, this one is about Sara taking the time to recover and gather her strength before she strikes out at her enemies. Other than the trust Deputy Rooney, Sara doesn’t have any allies, and she needs to do something about it, especially since all she has to protect herself is a very small piece of the Witchblade, a piece the size of a bullet. Not much really, but then again, that’s what matters too, since it means that the story has some tension and real risks for the characters. Without any risk, there is no story really, because then it would be so easy for a hero to overcome the bad guys or girls.

Now, she is becoming proactive. She’s had enough of getting shot at and threatened with dismissal from her job. And she’s going to start doing something about it, no matter who she has to tick off for it. Of course, being surrounded by pompous officials means that things are even tougher. But, Sara’s up to the challenge, and that’s what I love about her.

In this issue, every character we’ve seen so far in the new arc gets to take center stage at one point, and Ron does a good job of showing them all in a good light in that context. And even the villain of the story, someone I have less than a passing knowledge of even, I got to see the character’s motivations. That’s vital in any kind of a story, because without motivations, there is no conflict. And without that conflict, we don’t have a story. So props to Ron for putting that subplot in at this point. It feels natural and I’m even more excited about how this arc is going to play out.

And as for the art, no complaints once again, apart from one small thing. Laura Braga is a great artist, but her poses for her characters still bother me. In this issue, she opts for similar looking poses in the full body-shot panels repeatedly. It gets tiring. And all these poses are very… model-like, which is not something I really get. Still, her smooth layouts make for a really good visual story and Betsy Gonia’s colours are good too. I’ve finally warmed up to her style and it also helps that the colours are less… shiny by now, which is great!

Overall, another great issue from the creative team, and now I’m doubly excited about the next issue.

Rating: 9/10

More Witchblade: #170, #171, #172.

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Posted on March 19, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

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